McCulloch overlooked again for courthouse restoration project

The Texas Historical Commission (THC) announced Round III grant recipients of the Texas Historic Courthouse Preservation Program at its quarterly meeting on January 11 in Houston and the McCulloch County Courthouse failed to make the cut again. Program commissioners awarded matching grants totaling approximately $39.2 million to 14 Texas counties to help preserve their historic courthouses. “We have not heard anything official from either our architect or the Texas Historical Commission,” said McCulloch County Judge Randy Young. “But we did search the THC website and found that we weren’t chosen for Round III funding. “There is still $10 million left for the next round. THC saves a portion of that amount for what they refer to as planning grant money which are grants for construction drawings and engineering studies. The McCulloch County Courthouse needs an engineering study on the cracked turret. “There are three categories for funding: buildings in dire need of repair fall into an emergency category; the second category is for construction drawings and engineer studies; and the third is kind of a ‘catch-all’ category for all other requests. “We hope we qualify for the emergency category because of the structural damage to the cracked turret. “More than likely most all of these courthouses are going to be done eventually. The Texas Historical Commission will probably continue to allocate the $50 million to get all of the courthouse restoration projects completed. There are a lot of projects out there and a lot of counties are applying for THC grants to complete them.” The counties to receive funds in Round III of the program are: Archer, Cameron, Denton, Dimmit, Fayette, Goliad, Hudspeth, Jeff Davis, Lamar, Lavaca, Maverick, Parker, Val Verde and Wheeler. THC commission members awarded the majority of the $50 million received from the Texas Legislature during the 2001 legislative session. The grants will be used for construction and building costs. As in the first two rounds, the commission plans to grant the remaining funds for courthouses: 1) determined to be highly endangered based on inspections and recommendations by THC staff to the commission; 2) to complete plans and specifications; or 3) based on other eligibility. The next opportunity for the commission to award grants will Pending additional funding from the Texas Legislature in future legislative sessions, the THC plans to continue the program with several more rounds of grant opportunities.

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